Via File 770, this:

A New Robert A. Heinlein Book to be Published Based on Newly Recovered Manuscript.

Phoenix Pick recently announced that, working with the Heinlein Prize Trust, they have been able to reconstruct the complete text of an unpublished novel written by Robert A. Heinlein in the early eighties.

Heinlein wrote this as an alternate text for “The Number of the Beast.” This text of approximately 185,000 words largely mirrors the first one-third of the published version, but then deviates completely with an entirely different story-line and ending.

Huh. Certainly didn’t see that coming. Now, as far as I’m concerned, The Number of the Beast pretty much dissolved into ridiculousness during the final, I don’t know, third? Maybe the entire back half? Great adventure story morphs into, well, something much less great.

I’m actually interested. I’ll go further and just declare, Yep, I will definitely read this new book. Evidently it’ll be released late this year with the title Six-Six-Six.

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3 thoughts on “Unexpected!”

  1. Back in my Usenet days, I read a really interesting essay on what apparently was really going on with Number of the Beast. I managed to track it down. I can’t remember if I reread the book after the essay, but perhaps I should give it a try again.

  2. Alas, I cannot be optimistic here.

    In the Heinlein bio that came out a few years ago, he talked about the first version of tNotB, which was very heavily revised because both Virginia (his first reader, of course) and then Heinlein himself (after the first throes of creation) thought it wasn’t very good. As I recall it, one of them said “It was worse than bad: it was mediocre.”

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